Target Blood Sugar Levels For People With Diabetes
People with diabetes have difficulty creating or using enough insulin, which is the hormone that helps convert glucose into energy. Although there is no universal blood sugar chart for everyone with diabetes, clinical organizations like the ADA and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists offer guidelines on target blood sugar levels as a starting point.
Healthcare providers typically tailor normal blood sugar target ranges to an individual diabetes care plan. This includes considering your:
The normal blood sugar level for a healthy adult should be less than 126 mg/dL or 6 mmol/L before fasting and meals, and below 200mg/dL two hours after meals.
If you are diabetic, then you should consult with your doctor in order for appropriate blood sugar level targets to be set based on the severity of your condition, medications taken and overall health status.
The below information describes what normal blood sugar levels are prior to and after meals and what the recommended HbA1c levels are for those with and without diabetes.
A HbA1c test determines your average level of blood glucose over the past two to three months. Red blood cells have a lifespan of roughly three months, and a HbA1c blood test measures the amount of glucose that has bound to them during this period.
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Why Your Blood Sugar Level May Be Low
If blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, it is below normal levels. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
- Not eating enough or missing a meal or snack
- Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you normally eat
- Alcohol consumption especially if youre drinking on an empty stomach
- Taking too much insulin or oral diabetes medication based on carbohydrates or activity levels
- Increased physical activity
- Side effects from medications
If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose meter and sources of fast-acting glucose close by in case your blood sugar drops. This is especially important for people with hypoglycemia unawareness, which is a condition that causes symptoms of low blood sugar to go unnoticed.
Eating balanced meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day is a big part of maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Check out our article on meal planning for diabetes to better understand the three macronutrients where calories come from and which have the biggest effect on blood sugar.
Meal Planning for Diabetes: How to Optimize Your Diet >
Everyone will respond differently to certain factors, which is why its important to have individualized target glucose levels. To help you reach your target blood glucose goals, work with your healthcare provider to discuss modifications to your diet, physical activity, or medications, and alert them of other factors like a recent illness or stressful event.
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Treatment Of Diabetes In Children And Adolescents
Nutrition and exercise
For type 1 diabetes, injections of insulin
For type 2 diabetes, metformin by mouth and sometimes injections of insulin or liraglutide
The main goal of diabetes treatment is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as can be done safely. However, no treatment completely maintains blood glucose at normal levels. When people try very hard to keep blood glucose levels normal, they increase the risk that their blood glucose levels will sometimes become too low. Low blood glucose is called hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in which blood sugar levels are abnormally high because the body does not produce enough insulin or fails to respond normally to the insulin produced… read more and can be dangerous.
Children with either type of diabetes need to
Make healthy food choices
Lose weight if overweight
General nutritional management and education are particularly important for all children with diabetes. Dietary recommendations for children with diabetes are based on healthy eating recommendations for all children and aim to maintain ideal body weight and optimal growth and to prevent short-term and long-term complications of diabetes.
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Blood Sugar Levels Action Points
- Ask your diabetes team what blood sugar targets your child should aim for and what to do about high/low results.
- Check with your diabetes team the best times of day to test, and if you need to test at night.
- Make sure you get free testing supplies on prescription talk to your diabetes team for more information
When To Do A Blood Sugar Test
Its recommended to test:
- before a main meal
- if they feel any hypo warning signs
- any time you or your child feels their blood sugar levels are too high or too low.
Your diabetes team may also ask you to test at other times as well or instead , in order to get an overall view of your childs diabetes control. If your child has recently been diagnosed, its particularly important to test often to get a good idea of whats happening with their blood sugar levels.
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Blood Sugar Level Chart
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = 7099 mg/dl
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = 80130 mg/dl
Two hours after a meal
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = Below 140 mg/dl
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = Below 180 mg/dl
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = Below 5.7%
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = 7% or less
**My Med Memo The measurement mmol is the abbreviation for millimole.
What Are Considered Normal Blood Sugar Levels
You might not have diabetes now, but do you know the risk factors?
In 2015, 22% of Canadian adults were pre-diabetic and the number of Canadians suffering from diabetes has increased by 44% in the last 10 years. As the leading cause of blindness, kidney problems, and non-trauma amputations, it is important to protect ourselves against diabetes.
But its not all bad news, diabetes is often a preventable disease. Knowing whether you have normal blood sugar levels is one of the best indicators of risk. If your blood sugar levels are high, mindful eating and lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Read on for all the hottest tips on how to manage your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
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Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
A fasting plasma glucose test is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and is therefore usually taken in the morning.
The NICE guidelines regard a fasting plasma glucose result of 5.5 to 6.9 mmol/l as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
What Do I Need To Know About Continuous Glucose Monitoring And Flash Glucose Monitoring In My Child With Diabetes
Continuous glucose monitors or flash glucose monitors are devices that monitor glucose levels in people with diabetes. The devices are another tool for the management of diabetes. They can be helpful in minimising the number of finger-pricks your child needs. They can also help you to see trends in your child’s glucose levels. Some devices allow remote monitoring. But, many families manage their child’s or young person’s diabetes well without CGM or FGM.
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High Blood Sugar Symptoms
Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar. Hyperglycemia happens when the body doesnt have enough insulin or when it cant use insulin correctly. Many things can cause high blood glucose levels like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, stress, illness, or the dawn phenomenon. If you have hyperglycemia or suspect you may have it, talking with a healthcare provider is always a good idea. A doctor can help you determine whats causing your high blood sugar levels and lower it to a healthy range.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that may indicate hyperglycemia:
- Vision loss
You should seek immediate medical attention if your blood sugar reaches 400 mg/dL or higher.
When patients experience any of these accompanied by elevated blood sugar levels, diabetic patients are advised to go directly to the ER to avoid diabetes-induced coma, says Vikram Tarugu, MD, a gastroenterologist and the CEO of Detox of South Florida. Patients who have elevated blood sugar may also present with frothy, ketone-like smelling breath.
Here are some lifestyle changes and medical treatments that can help treat hyperglycemia:
Spotting The Signs And Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes In Your Child
Type 1 diabetes can appear, at first, like a curious type of flu. Your childs healthcare team may suggest its simply a virus and send them home to rest, but ignoring the symptoms and delaying diagnosis and proper treatment can be life threatening.
The first sign of type 1 diabetes in children of any age is usually a sharp increase in their thirst and need to urinate, and this generally starts when blood sugar levels are persistently above 200 mg/dL, explains Allison Pollock, pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
This intense thirst and need to urinate happens when sugar builds up in the blood, over 200 mg/dL, and is then filtered out of the blood into the urine by the kidneys, explains Pollock. Without enough insulin in the body, the sugar in the blood goes into the urine, which is why your body has less and less energy as blood sugars continue to rise.
Your child will feel unquenchably thirsty as the body continues to draw fluid from everywhere in the body in order to pass the excessive amounts of glucose being filtered by the kidneys. This can also mean that potty-trained toddlers and children may start wetting their pants or their bed as they struggle to keep up with the intense need to urinate more often, explains the JDRF.
Your child may present with several or all of these top four symptoms of undiagnosed T1D, according to the JDRF:
- intense thirst and an increased need to urinate
- fatigue or lethargy
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Controlling Blood Glucose Levels
Uncontrolled blood sugar can result in regular episodes of hyperglycemia . This can cause a variety of symptoms including:
- Dry mouth
These symptoms are uncomfortable to experience but there are things you can do at home to reduce your blood sugar. In terms of drinks, water is the best as it will help to maintain hydration and dilute excess sugar in the blood. Also, try to add more fiber to your diet to reduce your blood sugar apples, bananas, oranges, and strawberries are all fibrous fruits.
However, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can also lead to more severe, long term disease. Poorly managed diabetes leads to vision loss, kidney problems, nerve damage, heart attack, and stroke. Therefore, if your blood sugar level reaches 16.7mmol/L, this could be dangerous and you need to seek immediate medical attention.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels In Children
A typical blood sugar level in children is below 100 milligrams per deciliter, according to Mayo Clinic. A level from 100 to 125 indicates prediabetes and above 126 mg/dL in two tests leads to a diagnosis of diabetes.
Children diagnosed with diabetes also receive tests to differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes elevated levels of blood sugar. Symptoms include increased hunger and thirst, along with frequent urination. Diabetes can result in health complications if it is not treated. Over time, it can cause kidney failure, strokes, heart disease and eye damage, notes Wikipedia. The disease is caused by inadequate production of insulin by the pancreas or the body failing to respond to insulin that is produced.
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The Best Healthcare Options To Prevent Diabetes
Health care is expensive. Canada spent an estimated $253.5 billion in 2018, and as the cost of health care increases, so does the cost to you. Pre-existing medical conditions, family history, and BMI are all factors that increase the cost of health care. These factors also increase your risk of diabetes, so you must be covered.
Of course, as a Canadian, you are entitled to some free and subsidized health care, which is great. But many people opt for private healthcare and for diabetes prevention this can be very useful. If you’re shopping around for private healthcare, it’s important to choose the right package.
Basic health insurance will usually cover health care, medical services, and prescriptions, but they tend to lack customizations. If you opt for a premium/guaranteed health insurance you have the bonus of a custom plan based on your needs if you are worried about your risk of diabetes this is like gold dust.
Private healthcare plans can cover the cost of many expenses related to diabetes such as blood tests, blood sugar monitors, specialist referrals, hospital stays, and much more! The most important thing to note about private health care is that it covers costs for preventative care, not just treatment for diseases.
There are many different options available, so make sure you search for the best quotes.
What Is Blood Glucose And From Where They Usually Obtain It
Blood sugar levels move to the bloodstream and provide energy to all the cells in the body. It is the most important source of energy for your baby.
Babies with an average glucose level grow well however, if the blood sugar level decreases, it causes the baby to become sick.
In the womb, babies get glucose from the placenta and umbilical cord. Some of the glucose is used in the womb, and some are stored to save it, which is used after birth. This glucose level is then used after a few days after birth until the baby starts breastfeeding. This is the main source of energy for them.
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Normal And Diabetic Blood Sugar Ranges
For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:
- Between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L when fasting
- Up to 7.8 mmol/L 2 hours after eating
For people with diabetes, blood sugar level targets are as follows:
- Before meals : 4 to 7 mmol/L for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- After meals : under 9 mmol/L for people with type 1 diabetes and under 8.5mmol/L for people with type 2 diabetes
When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Hypoglycemia is the medical word for low blood sugar level. It needs to be treated right away. Why? Because glucose, or sugar, is the body’s main fuel source. That means your body including your brain needs glucose to work properly.
When blood sugar levels go lower than they’re supposed to, you can get very sick. Your parents and your diabetes health care team will tell you what your blood sugar levels should be and what to do if they get too low.
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Is There Any Way To Treat Diabetes In Toddlers
If the diagnosis comes back positive for diabetes, treatment can begin immediately.
Your child may be assigned a diabetes treatment teamâincluding a doctor, dietitian, and diabetes educatorâwho will work closely with you to help keep your toddlerâs blood sugar level as normal as possible.
Although there is no cure for diabetes, with treatment and consistent care your little one can go on to have a normal life. Treatment depends on whether your toddler has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but the treatment plan may include:
Blood sugar monitoring. You will need to check your toddlerâs blood sugar levels frequently, at least 4 times a day for type 1. Testing helps you make sure your little oneâs blood sugar levels are within the target range. Your healthcare provider will tell you what this range should be, as this will change as your child grows.
Taking insulin. If your toddler has type 1 diabetes, then life-long treatment with insulin will be necessary. Some cases of type 2 diabetes also require insulin. Insulin is often given as an injection but is sometimes administered through a pump. Your toddlerâs healthcare provider will show you how to give injections or use the pump, and when your child grows old enough the provider will be able to show her how to do it for herself.
Testing And Your Child
An essential part of managing your childs diabetes is frequently testing their blood sugar levels to help avoid highs and lows and knowing when to test for ketones. At times, this testing may be difficult both for you and your child, especially if theyre very young.
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Daily Monitoring Of Blood Glucose Levels
In tandem with taking insulin, your child will need to learn to monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day, for the rest of their lives. This is because blood sugar levels can change quickly based on everyday life variables like food, activity, insulin, hormones, stress, and changes in weight.
Again this sounds scary, but fingerstick test meters and newer continuous glucose monitors have become quite sophisticated and relatively easy to use.
- Read more about continuous glucose monitors at DiabetesMine.
Diabetes Mellitus In Children And Adolescents
, MD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Diabetes describes a group of conditions with high blood glucose levels caused by decreased insulin production, decreased effect of insulin, or both.
Typical symptoms at diagnosis include excessive thirst, excessive urination, and weight loss.
The diagnosis is based on symptoms and the results of urine and blood tests.
Treatment depends on the type of diabetes but includes insulin injections or other drugs and changes in diet, exercise, weight loss .
The symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of diabetes are similar in children and adults Diabetes Mellitus Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in which the body does not produce enough or respond normally to insulin, causing blood sugar levels to be abnormally high. Urination and thirst are… read more ). However, management of diabetes in children may be more complex. It must be tailored to the childs physical and emotional maturity level and to constant variations in food intake, physical activity, and stress.
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